To Be A Godparent
What Is Baptism?
Here are some notes on being a Godparent to help you in coming to a decision.
Baptism is a gift of God and an assurance of His love for us. Through Baptism we begin a new life as Christians, and are made members of God’s Family, the Church. It is also the mark of our response to God’s Love, in committing our lives to Him, and in looking forward to our growth and development in faith as a member of the Church. Just as our own birth marked the start of our life in our own family, so Baptism is a beginning in the Christian family – and we need help and support to grow in both.
What Is A Godparent?
Godparents have a very special place in the Baptism of infants. Because children cannot answer for themselves, the parents make promises on their behalf. Godparents also make the same promises as help and support for the parents; thus pledging themselves to help and encourage the child in their growth in faith.
The Baptism service begins with:
Children who are too young to profess the Christian faith are baptised on the understanding that they are brought up as Christians within the family of the Church. As they grow up they need the help and encouragement of that family so that they learn to be faithful in public worship and private prayer, to live by trust in God, and to come to confirmation.
Parents and Godparents, the child whom you have brought for baptism depends chiefly on you for the help and encouragement they need.
Are you willing to give it to him/her by your prayers, by your example, and by your teaching?
What Qualifies Me As A Godparent?
If you can answer Yes to the above, and if you’ve been baptised yourself, you need no other qualification. But please remember that this promise is made to God and that in making it you commit yourself, as well as the child to Him.
You will be invited to a meeting to discuss the meaning of baptism.
Here are some suggestions as to how this promise can be carried out.
What Can I Do For My Godchild?
Remember him/her daily in my prayers. Each prayer is an expression of love for your Godchild.
Mark each anniversary of his/her baptism: send a card and a sign to him/her of my love and care.
Gifts of books or posters can also help him/her to learn more about God.
Keep in regular touch. Write, phone or email and share what is happening.
Help him/her to see by the example of your life that Christianity is not a ‘Sundays only’ affair.
Make our relationship one of godparent to godchild. Be willing to talk about faith, prayer and God. Spend whatever time is possible and available in encouraging his/her interest and participation in the life of faith and of the local church. Take him/her to church when possible.
Encourage him/her to look forward to being confirmed and becoming a communicant member of the church.
What Help Can I Get In Doing This?
Talking with the minister and members of my local church to understand more about my own faith; as will talking with the minister who baptised my Godchild.
Some small books and booklets might also be of use. These plus posters, CD’s, DVD’s and many other materials are available from Christian bookshops or some of the high street booksellers.